Lot 105
  • 105


220,000 - 280,000 CHF
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  • height 140 mm, width 83 mm
• gilt lever movement • rock crystal dial, double faced white enamel chapter ring with Roman numerals, surrounded by a rose-cut diamond-set rim, fancy platinum hands set with rose-cut diamonds • the rock crystal outlined with gold and decorated to the interior with a rectangular enamel border • rock crystal resting atop a rectangular onyx base, each corner adorned with a rose-cut diamond and gold beadwork trim • rectangular enamel border, base and movement signed • with Cartier presentation case and Certificate of Authenticity


Movement running on the day of the cataloguing, however it may require a service soon. The enamel borders surrounding the dial appear in very good condition. 137 diamonds appear in nice colours and sizes. The crystal has a few scratches to the inside of the crystal on the back side of the clock, towards the base, and a very minor chip to the top, front edge, but hardly noticeable without magnification. Upon close inspection, very minor chips to edges of crystal resting on onyx base, but this is normal for its age and is completely concealed by the beaded border. The crystal is secure in the base. Two minor imperfections/blemishes to the onyx surface on reverse side, but hardly noticeable and common for its age. The crystal top part is a later replacement as stated in the Cartier Certificate. Overall the crystal and onyx base appear in very good condition and this clock is a beautiful and rare example. Base numbered 151.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping.

Important Notice regarding importation into the United States of Rolex watches
Sotheby's cannot arrange for the delivery of Rolex watches to the United States because U.S. laws restricts the import of Rolex watches. The buyer or a designated agent may collect the property in the country of sale."

Catalogue Note

The Cartier "Pendule Mystérieuses" or "Mystery Clocks" exude a mystic elegance that has captured the imagination of Cartier collectors for decades. Inspired by the work of 1850s French magician and clockmaker, Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, Maurice Couet devised the first Mystery clock in 1913 which was named "Pendules Mysterieuses Model A." This name resonates with automotive pioneer Henry Ford's "Model T" car of the same period and, fittingly, the first Model A was sold at Cartier New York to American financial magnate, J.P. Morgan Jr. Thus, the Cartier Mystery clock demands an inquisitive mind-set, determined to decode its complexity, while appreciating its perplexing beauty.

The current example, a Model A, features rotating rock crystal discs to indicate the hours and minutes. This mechanism is invisibly powered by gears hidden in the frame, while the onyx base contains the clock's movement.

For a similar example, see Barracca, J., Negretti, G., and Nencini. F., Le Temps de Cartier, p.99.